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Vacant house in Flanders set to be demolished

07/28/2018 6:00 AM |

A dilapidated house on a Flanders canal, with rats and other animals living inside, as well as a failing bulkhead, is slated to be demolished, according to Southampton Town officials.

The Town Board voted to raze the building at 215 Longneck Blvd. following a public hearing on July 10.

The house, which is owned by Fred Powell and Laura Girard, has been vacant for at least three years, according to assistant town attorney Richard Harris. Mr. Powell and Ms. Girard were not present at the hearing, although Mr. Harris said he notified them about it by mail.

He said the town has done several inspections of the property since 2015 and the condition of the home and the bulkhead has become worse. 

“The property will pose a risk to the health and safety of the neighborhood in its current condition,” Mr. Harris said at the hearing. 

He recommended that the building, its foundation, and any septic system or cesspool be completely removed, and that an exterminator be called before the demolition so that any vermin living in the building don’t escape to neighboring properties.

He recommended that the town apply for state Department of Environmental Conservation permits to replace the bulkhead in the rear of the property, on the canal between Long Neck Boulevard and Royal Avenue. 

Supervisor Jay Schneiderman suggested the bulkhead repairs be done only to the minimum amount needed to guarantee public safety. 

“We don’t need the Cadillac version,” he said. 

“We’ll do the Hyundai version,” Mr. Harris replied. 

The total cost of the house demolition and bulkhead repair is estimated at $130,000. Nearly all of that — $100,000 — will go toward the latter. Officials said it would cost even more to remove the bulkhead. Mr. Harris plans to put a lien on the property so that the town gets reimbursed for any work it does there. The supervisor said Suffolk County will reimburse the town for any unpaid taxes. 

Ron Fisher, president of the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association, said the home has been in poor condition since 2008. 

While one speaker suggested that a neighboring property owner was interested in purchasing the site, town officials said waiting for a sale to close would take time. 

“I don’t think we’re willing to slow down here,” Mr. Schneiderman said. 

Mr. Fisher also urged the board to move forward with the demolition and cautioned, “There are a lot of rats there, so make sure you exterminate and fumigate before you knock it down.”

Paul Ceberek, who lives near the home, told the board in May, “I’m tired of seeing the raccoons on the roof and everything on the side of the property growing into my property.”

Photo caption: Officials said this house on Longneck Boulevard in Flanders has become a public health issue. (Tim Gannon photo) 

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